Some women don’t enjoy going to day spas or getting massages, manicures and pedicures. I’m not one of those women.
Scrape me, knead me, paint my nails – it’s all good! There’s nothing as relaxing as having someone with strong hands massage thick cream into your tired feet and lower legs. A good back massage can erase the stress of life. But finding a place where one is comfortable, and the experience is worth the money and time, isn’t easy.
Ethos the Spa on Richmond Street has closed for good. I did go there a few times but I never really liked it. The young women at the front seemed disorganized and they sometimes crabbed openly about their jobs. The entrance was too cluttered with product displays. If you stepped on the flimsy fabric draping the chairs and puddling on the floor, you almost went for a ride and took the chair with you. One of the waiting chairs offered a perfect view into one of the pedicure rooms. A google search turned up pages and pages of rants about how the owner allegedly took scads of money for gift certificates just prior to shutting down.
A few of my closest pals know this story of my second-last massage. It’s extremely embarrassing and not typical of a massage experience. At the start of the procedure, as the female RMT (Registered Massage Therapist) was working down my back she commented on my butt, which was draped by a sheet. “You have a nice bum”, she said. “It’s probably unprofessional of me to say that….” My throat went dry and I could feel every muscle in my body seize up. Can you imagine??? And it was at the START of the massage! It’s certainly not something one hears every day, and not while in such a vulnerable situation. I mentioned the experience to the next person I went to, a male RMT who specializes in sports injuries, and he was absolutely horrified. “Commenting on ANYTHING is strictly taboo. You don’t mention tattoos, you don’t say something is good or bad. You’re supposed to pretend you don’t even notice!”
I’ve been to day spas where the manicurist has launched into a political rant. Where can you go? You’re stuck with it until your digits are done. Yesterday, I tried a new place for the first time; Aglow on Springbank. I used to read their ads for AM980. At first I was concerned because the woman doing my pedicure had to get up to answer the phone and I thought, uh-oh, if this continues I could be here all night. But it was no big deal. She was experienced, friendly, smart and nice and so was her colleague. My toesies turned out lovely and my feetsies are soft and purty. I will go back.
All of these things are intimate procedures. They make some people uncomfortable. They make me happy, when they’re done right.